Alleged human rights violations via communication technologies provided to US
Lead NCPGermany
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by an NGO regarding the activities of a multinational enterprise headquartered in Germany providing communications technologies to a US company using them in Yemen.
Theme(s)Human rights
Date20 Mar 2015
Host country(ies)Yemen
Industry sectorInformation and communication
StatusNot accepted

Read the final statement issued by the German NCP concluding the specific instance - 13 July 2015

In March 2015 the German NCP received a request for review from an NGO alleging that a multinational enterprise had breached the human rights provisions of the Guidelines. More specifically the allegations related to a teaming agreement concluded between the German communications technology company and a US company which enables the use of communication technology in drones provided by the US-company. The NGO claims that these drones have been used by US armed forces for operations including in some countries on which no war had been declared, specifically in Yemen.

After undertaking an initial assessment, the NCP concluded that it cannot consider the specific human rights violations because the drone attacks in question took place between 2012 and 2013 which dates to before the time the company concluded its agreement with the US company. And, while the company´s website does not make any reference to responsibility for protecting human rights, the NCP is of the opinion that the company has adequately demonstrated in its correspondence with the NCP, that it fulfils its due diligence requirements in accordance with the requirements of the Guidelines. Furthermore the company has credibly demonstrated that the radio transmitters covered by the agreement with the US company are unable to navigate drones, particularly over large distances.

On these grounds the NCP has not accepted to consider this specific instance further and issued a final statement concluding the specific instance. As the specific instance did not proceed beyond the initial assessment stage, the names of the parties have not been made public.